tv [untitled] May 12, 2012 2:30pm-3:00pm EDT
202707-0002, and you can participate by twitter. we'll try to read some of those tweets as well. we have the next hour so we're fortunate to hear from you. i understand that you have something with you that was actually discovered on the project today. can you show it to us and tell us what it is? >> yes. well, wonderful things show up all the time. and today the archaeologists uncovered this wonderful medallion from a german stoneware bottle mader in cologne. it's unique. we don't have one exactly like this one. i'll have to do some research to find out who it's depicting. it would be a bottle that would contain beer or wine, so for alcoholic beverage. >> you had mentioned in the hourlong preview, the documentary we just saw, that you had to learn how to read the
artifacts 1 1/2 million artifacts you've uncovered in the last 20 years or so. what do you mean by reading it? what's the most important part of that? >> what i meant by that was that i have to learn the context of each of the materials. why they were made, where they were made, what their purpose was, who may have carried them to jamestown, what their use may have been in jamestown. it may have been different from their original usage in england. and it becomes very complex when you try to put all those stories together, because each material type has a different kind of story to tell. >> we will get to our phone calls in just a moment. bill kelso, let me ask you a basic question about why you chose that spot in 1993 to start digging. why that spot on the james river. >> that's a fairly complex question.
there were indications in historical records that one in particular said that the church of the early 17th century was in the middle of the fort, and the one above-ground survivor from jamestown that we have is a brick church tower. so, i thought maybe in that vicinity there could be some remains of the fort. we also had looked at some artifacts that had turned up inadvertently through utility trenches and things like that that seemed old enough, military things. and it was an area that just was not yet explored enough to say that this was where the fort wasn't and conventional wisdom was that the fort had washed away on the western end of the island, we're not quite on the western end. but as it turned out, the fort
did not only not wash away, it's basically all here. >> we have callers waiting for questions and comments for both of you. let's go to jonathan in san diego. go ahead, jonathan. >> caller: good morning, or good afternoon out there. in your taped piece mr. kelso mentioned that jamestown gets second billing if you will to plymouth in the mythology or the common knowledge of how the new world was col he nionized and ir if you could elaborate on that. and he also mentioned the lost colony in roanoke that even preceded jamestown. i'm wondering if there's any new work or any new findings down there that's of any interest. and thanks for putting on these type of programs. they're great. >> okay. your first -- the first question was what again? i didn't quite hear it. >> the first question was why
does the jamestown settlement in his perception, i guess, quoting you from the -- >> plymouth, yeah, yeah. >> take a second billing to jamestown -- or to plymouth, rather, i'm sorry. >> well, yeah. every year we have thanksgiving that just focuses again on plymouth, it's sort of an automatic thing. in the 19th century, the story of the earliest english settlement began to come from stories out of new england. and there was a lot of focus on that. although you do the math, jamestown was settled 1607, plymouth in 1620. and another thing is -- and then after the american civil war, the histories were also written mostly by the victors who, of course, was the northern states, so that had something to play in it. and also the site, the actual site, was gone whereas the town of plymouth exists.
so, without that physical evidence that we now have, i think that jamestown story was minimized. >> memphis, tennessee, is next -- eugenia hang on a moment. >> go ahead, bill kelso, and finish your comments. >> well, the lost town, blythe could speak to that, there's really exciting things that have been found just in the last few weeks. >> yes, it has to do with a map, 400-year-old map from the -- that has been in the british museum and it's been recently discovered that there's a patch, very interesting patch, which was discovered underneath it was the outline of a fortification and it happens to be in the area where historian jim horn believes the colonists from the lost colony went, the areas which they went.
and we've done some preliminary work this. found some interesting artifacts that looked like they could be 16th century, so this is all brand-new and we're just sort of on the cusp we think some pretty exciting discoveries. >> caller's from memphis next. eugen eugenia, go ahead with your comments. >> caller: my husband's ancestors came to jamestown in 1616 and then we see him in elizabeth city, i find him in elizabeth city, and i wondered exactly where elizabeth city was in reference to jamestown. >> well, it's now where hampton is, modern hampton is, and actually virginia beach. i think it was a larger county at one point that took all the hampton -- almost all of hampton rhodes, so it's not far from here, probably 20, 30 miles. >> raleigh, north carolina, next up is betty. go ahead with your comments. >> caller: hi, this is betty
fitzgerald. ancient planters and we just had dr. earl imes, a curator from raleigh and we're all excited about what's going on the pimlico, when you come down, we'll see you in the fall and i've been coming up there regularly. now, my question was, of course, i have the bell of mine jar and that's what i'm doing on the article right now, b-e-l-l-a-r-m-i-n-e, you call it by another name and you also know why we don't celebrate -- well, we know some things that were done by henry adams but we don't use those names, i can. you can't, but i can. why don't you use the word bellarmine jar? >> you want to fill us about betty's comments there. >> sure, we use the term parba t
partsman, which means bearded man. that's the german term. bellarmine is really a collector's term. it started in the 17th century. they began calling these jugs bellarmines after cardinal bellarmino who was very upset with king james for the way he was treating the english catholics. and it was done in a sort of satirical way. the dutch and english protestants started call the jugs that held alcohol bellarmines a jab. >> bill, you talked about the need to do much more archaeology work at jamestown over the next 20 years because of the rapid decomposition of materials and burials and iron and things like that. how much work is left to be done at jamestown?
>> it's indefinite. we have found recently that not only was it a one-acre triangular fort but it was expanded to the east, maybe doubled in size. we spent 19 years looking at this one acre. and archaeology is a little bit slow, but we really haven't been that slow. but just because there's been so much here. and so it may have been originally a four-acre size fort. and so, you know, do the math there. and then the actual town developed to the east. throughout the time that this was the capital of virginia, almost 100 years, and that has only been just superficially looked at by the national park service archaeologists, so there's no -- there's just indefinite amount of area to it, to look at, in the future. far beyond my career, i would say. >> and your work is complicated
there by the fact that that area was used as a civil war fort, fort pocahontas. >> right. yeah. in 1861, the fort pocahontas was built by the confederate army. and wherever they scooped to get earth to put up a bank to protect the gun, the original -- the original 1607 settlement was being disturbed. however, where they piled the dirt, that was preserved. but so we decided that we needed to see the -- devote the most preserved part of the fort under the fort, and so we looked at archaeologically at the earthworks first because you had to get through that to get to the earliest site. so, that's the reason that we had to remove some of the fort,
but i say we dismantled it. and the artifacts that were in that dirt pile were unbelievable, as a matter of fact, too. now, as far as preservation goes, and the time limit, i'd say we know for one fact that the armor and arms and the metal objects are probably going to be gone. because what we find there's not a whole lot left of them if they're in dirt deposits. whereas when that confederate earthwork was built, some armor was found that had survived. we can compare the two and see it's in much better shape. there's real metal in the part that was found in 1861 and now, you know, it's almost gone. that's the urgency. plus the burials, too, will be gone. >> let's go back to the callers. dallas, texas, is next. chase, good afternoon. >> caller: thank you. would you comment, sir, of your examination of the forensic remains of those skeltons, the
stature of these men. it looks to me like john smith was kind of small. was that exceptional? how big were these guys? thanks. >> well, they tend to be shorter on average. but not a whole lot. and we have just finished studying a large number from a major burial ground that proves this, we're getting more statistics on that. >> i think that the whole thing about john smith being small, i've searched and searched and have not found any documentation that actually says how tall he was. and i think it all kind of stems from this illustration that was done when he is fighting a native. and the native is towering over him and he's sort of below. and i think it was done on purpose to make it look like david and goliath, that john smith was really super worthy to
defeat this native. but i don't really think that he was any shorter than anyone, the average person. >> and the site of the jamestown settlement there is the site -- the church there was where james -- john smith married pocahontas, correct? >> yes. uh-huh. we found that site, started finding it two years ago and excavated it through the end of last year. it's a super important place. because the wedding is interesting. and it's interesting to know exactly where pocahontas stood at one point which would be right in front of the altar. but the marriage itself ended what was called the first palestine war, so a period of peace went after that because -- until -- as long as he lived, that is. it's a very significant find and a significant event. >> the next caller's from natoma, kansas, lauren, hello.
>> caller: thank you. i teach fifth grade history. and i wonder what are most important top tiics that i shou relate to my students and if you have know suggestions for resources besides the dvd from today, i'd be interested in knowing those suggestions. >> well, that's a huge question. i don't have my bibliography with me. but i know that there is one volume -- well for fifth grade, i guess it would be a little complicated. but there's a volume of original documents that teachers might want to look at before they talk to their students. it's called "jamestown narratives." and it collected most of the original eyewitness accounts of the first 13 to 20 to 15 years, these things that were written about jamestown. the most important things, of course, i think really is the park and partially a national
park because the first representative assembly met here and the virginia assembly is still meeting since 1619 and also the first africans came to this country in 1619, same date. so, our diversity that we have, you know, begins here. and, wow, you know, speak to other important things. >> yes. well, i think some of the most important discoveries have come up through the archaeology. and you can get some of that information from our website, the historic jamestown website. we try to put videos of our recent findings and interpretation of the artifacts. a real important thing to get across to children is that we didn't start with a bunch of lazy gentlemen who would rather bowl in the streets than work to sustain the colony. we have found a very completely picture here. it was a very active, vibrant place. >> i no ittice a lot of flags f
foreign countries. what are those about? >> yes, i place flags near the ceramics from the different countries where they were produced to show the visitors how diverse and varied. we have materials from turkey, china, portugal, france, germany, italy. s so, it's not all from england. it's a very cosmopolitan world. people are connected and they're collecting the best wherever they can find it. >> calling from nearby hampton, virginia, we say hello to russ. >> caller: hello. first i wanted to say it's wonderful to watch something like this. i taught some online colony history courses and i live down here as a retired army officer in hampton. dr. kelso mentioned the important dade when lord delaware turned back the colonists who were evacuating the failed colony at jamestown. and he -- lord delaware had
actually landed at fort algernon on point comfort which is today's fort monroe, which has just become a national monument. my question is to what extent dr. kelso feels in the investigation by the national park service where ft. algernon and later ft. george was, would maybe possibly reveal some of the great findings that he's had at jamestown. >> well, i don't want to say anyone that it couldn't be found, you know, the actual site, because it's there somewhere. i got to study that. and the area where the fort was first built, algernon, it was sort of on a sandy spit. all this has been built up over the years. and exactly where at ft. lenore you can find it and then, of course, the construction that is going on at ft. monroe has just been astounding.
to build the fort and all the buildings and to bring landfill in and so on. it would be complicated, but it's not impossible. i'd be the last one to say it's impossible to find the fort. >> david on the line from rochester, hi. >> caller: hi, thank you. dr. kelso, i read your book. i recommend it to everybody. it makes archaeology exciting like a detective story and i recommend it to everybody. quick questions. i have a neighbor whose name is jim rolf and he claims he's a descendant of john rolf, is this possible? second, did you have anything to do with the movie "the new world" and how accurate do you think it is? thank you. >> okay. there are a lot of direct descendants of pock pocahontas and john rolf. did you say his name is rolf? >> i think he did. >> i think it's possible you're
related. now, "the new world" yes, we were all advisers, for that. i think it's accurate, the scene, the jamestown they built to me was very accurate. and it gave me for the first time the feeling of -- empathetic feeling of how insecure it was when they were there. now, the events are scrambled, you know, it's not -- it didn't claim to be a documentary. so i think it -- i really enjoyed the movie. >> we are speaking -- >> it was all filmed here in virginia. >> we are speaking live with bly straub and bill kelso from historic jamestown and taking your phone calls. and we'll also read tweets if you use the handl
handle @cspanhistory. this is patricia, go ahead. >> caller: thank you for this program. i, too, have read your book, mr. kelso, and found it very interesting. i have two comments. one is relating to the previous caller. my husband is descended from pocahontas and john rolf through pocahontas' grandson -- granddaughter, excuse me, jane rolf, who married a man called robe robe robert bowling. a few moments ago the commentator said to you this was the church where pocahontas married john smith. and as you know more than i, it was john rolf she married. but i notice that a great many people make that mistake, thinking that pocahontas married john smith. it's a pity about that. i think john rolf kind of gets pushed to the background. thank you very much for this
program. it's of great interest. >> thank you, patricia. let's go to ft. lauderdale, david's on our line in ft. lauderdale, hi, david, go ahead. >> caller: hi, dr. kelso, i would like you to comment, if you can, about the trend of american high schools starting american history off at 1870 instead of where we should be the discovery or, rather, the colonization of america. they seem to be blowing off early colonization, the founding, and everything, all the rich history leading up to the reconstruction. we've been told by our chancellor that we have to start at 1870 starting two years from now and i'd like you to comment on that. >> wow. >> i think you should fight your chancellor. >> yes. >> get that -- there's so much
that begins at jamestown. i just have to say, the representative assembly. what is a more important topic today is there than politics? and to go back and see, you know, that it just didn't all suddenly happen, you know, in the last 20 years. i think it gives everyone a much better perspective of what's going on and affecting them in the present. and the past is prologue, they say, and i think that's very true. and you need to -- people -- i think it's really, really awful that these history courses are being dropped. people don't under what's stand going on, i don't think. >> it must be an important part of british history, because we understand you'll be recognized in a couple weeks or later this year as a commander of the order of the british empire, so clearly the british have a keen interest in one of their early colonies. >> that's a comment. it's not really to me.
it's to jamestown, jamestown is, if you think about it, it's the first permanent colony of the british empire. it's where it began. and from there the 13 colonies and finally it goes around the world and it's india and australia and it's huge. and the colonial empire, there was a lot of violence, there was a lot of unfairness and things that went on, but the traditions are out there and it starts at jamestown. it's language, rule of law, representative government, goes -- and it's embedded in these countries now even though the british are gone. so, i think that the honor points to that sort of thing than it does more to something just for me. >> we're showing our viewers some pictures of you and queen elizabeth visiting the site there. what year was that? >> yeah. 2007. the queen was here. and in two weeks i was given a notice that i was supposed to give her a one on one tour of the fort without crowds, you
know, just very together. and she said, well, they said she wanted to have a reflective moment. and so, you know, i was kind of -- i was pretty petrified about that. what am i going to do? so, anyway, i did mention as we came to the center of the fort that this is where the british empire began and she kind of almost -- she didn't wink, but i could just tell that that's why she was there and that's i was standing there at that point and that's why she visited jamestown 50 years after she first visited jamestown as a matter of fact. >> here is burr ridge, illinois, and hello to anna. >> caller: hello? >> you're on the air, anna, go ahead. >> caller: oh, okay. hello to everyone. i wanted to know, have you found any remains of pocahontas and i wanted to know if you did, what age did she die of, young or older. >> pocahontas died in england
and is buried in england, so we have not found any remains of pocahontas at jamestown. that's the straight answer. and she -- let's see, her age, what would her age be? >> early 20s. >> yeah, early 20s. >> tell us about some of the remains -- >> but she was bury at gray's end in england. >> tell us about some of the remains you have found there at jamestown. >> well, we have excavated a number of burials. one of which i think the most important of which it was a burial of a captain. we know it was a captain because on the coffin what was left of the coffin there was what looked like a spear, but it turns out it's a leading staff which a captain would carry in front of his troops. and the remains are of a man that was age 36, and that's when the real mastermind according to john smith behind this whole
operation here was a man by the name of bartholomew gosnold, he was only at jamestown a few months, but he had the connection to the crown, to get the charter, to form the colony, and he had the connections with money, merchants in london to finance the venture. so, a real unsung hero and i think that's probably of the one most important discoveries made. it's not absolutely positive it's him. we even did dna testing, but all of the evidence right now is circumstantial evidence, points to the fact that this captain was remains of gosnold. >> that side of remains, what's the most significant find or group of finds that you've seen in your years there? >> oh, goodness. that's really a hard question. i'll tell you one of my favorites, though, it's a roman oil lamp from the first century
a.d. and a real surprise. but an object that someone in england, in london, because it's a type of find you would find in roman london context, someone treasured it and brought it with them to the new world. >> let's hear from gillette, wyoming, next up. eric, hi there. >> caller: hi. my question is outside of the marriage of pocahontas to john smith, is there any archaeological data of native american women marrying colonists or subsequent offspring to that region? >> i think eric repeated my john smith/john rolf mistake. >> the burials that have been analyzed so far are european.
it by forensic studies, we can thin that down. we've never seen any native american burials here at this point. >> we have a question on twitter, bill kelso and bly straub, what would you like to see happen at dig sites when you have finished your research? >> well, i can just speak to the site itself. we spent a lot of time trying to interpret the footprint that we find below ground of buildings and the shape of the fort and all without doing total reconstructions, we go to a point where we really don't some of the things the way the building looked. my first desire when i first came to this area 50 years ago was to come and walk on the grounds, walk the site of this first fort in 18 1607 fort, and
i was told it was washed away in the river. and we can now do that. we'd have to do some three-dimensional markings for it to be interpreted. i hope people can come here and understand the really hallowed place automatically by what we've put on the landscape. i don't know you might have more to say on that. >> we are going to spend the next half hour with bly straub and bill kelso. >> we are taking your questios.s here's warrenson, virginia, charlie, go ahead. >> caller: thanks so much for taking my call. i'm a public high school history teacher in northern virginia. i want to thank bill and bly for digging for the